Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 3/4/11

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This morning, I knew I’d have to load up on food ‘cause I needed some tasty fuel to power me through my morning class at CrossFit Palo Alto. As a result, I fried up a three-egg scramble with nuked frozen broccoli and some canned fire-roasted tomatoes for breakfast. For whatever reason, I never feel like eggs are enough protein (!) so I also chowed on a few slices of organic roast beef deli meat.

The WOD only lasted 10 minutes (and 5 minutes of it was rest time) but I was wiped when I finished. I felt like my heart was gonna explode out of my chest after the first 30 seconds of kettlebell swings!

When I came home, I drank a bowl of garbage soup and ate a handful of macadamia nuts.

Little-O and I met up with my good friend, H, for lunch at Anatolian Kitchen. This place is a yummy new Turkish restaurant off of California Avenue in Palo Alto. I ordered the combination plate sans rice and it came piled with doner kebab, chicken shish kebab, lamb shish kebab, and a nice salad.

I was really happy with the quality and quantity and can’t wait to come back to try some other items. (CrossFit Palo Alto peeps — this place is only a few blocks away so stop by after your workout to chow on meaty goodness!)

For snack, I ate a crapload of macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, and coconut butter but I still had room for a small cup of  coconut milk topped with strawberries.

In the evening, I prepared a batch of curried grass fed beef with shallots, mushrooms, and chard.

I’m gonna use this filling for mini frittata muffins I’m baking tomorrow morning to take to the Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop at Mad Dawg Fitness. I can’t wait to meet and learn from the Paleo nutrition mavens in person!

For dinner, I fried up some lamb burgers…

…sautéed mushrooms with onions in butter…

…and broiled some avocado oil tossed asparagus.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I’m gonna catch some zzzz’s so I can be a good listener tomorrow.

Paleo Eats: 2/2/11

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Even though my work week has been super busy and I’ve been stressed out about family stuff, I’m not nearly as sluggish, achy, and drained as I used to feel pre-Paleo. Yes, I get tired and a little cranky by the end of the week, but it’s more mental than physical fatigue. In fact, I always get comments from my co-workers that I seem so perky and energetic at the end of the night. Ha! I tell them that I’m just happy to be done with my shift — but secretly I know it’s because I’m eating clean. If you’re on the fence about going Paleo, just effing do it already!

Without further ado, here are my Paleo eats for the night:

I was feeling the munchies at the stroke of midnight, so I snacked on some of the husband’s fabulous homemade beef jerky and a small container of dry-roasted almond slivers and coconut flakes.

A couple hours later, I ate the second half of my broccoli and bacon frittata.

For my second snack of the night, I downed a container of coconut milk topped with strawberries and blueberries.

The final meal I ate at work? A box of leftover sous vide pork chops, cauliflower fried “rice,” and roasted carrots.

Finally, my hellish week of work has come to an end! Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy my job and I love working the night shift (I’m not kidding), but it feels freaking fantastic to have a week off.

Back at home this morning after I marched Big-O to school, I mindlessly snacked on some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes while surfing the Internet. I crashed for a 4-hour nap before hauling the kids to Big-O’s kung fu class and Trader Joe’s to replenish our staples.

Since I was sleep-deprived, I REALLY didn’t want to make dinner. My plan was to pick up a free-range rotisserie chicken at Calafia Market A-Go-Go and throw together a simple salad. Unfortunately, all the chickens were sold out within minutes. WTF? They start selling the chickens at 5:00 p.m., and every last one is gone by 5:08? I had no alternate plans for dinner. I was thisclose to grabbing some non-Paleo take-out, but instead I drove home determined to make something quick and yummy. 

I spent a few minutes frowning at the contents of my fridge and freezer before I spied a hidden treasure: frozen lamb burgers! I decided to serve them topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms alongside some quick stir-fried lancinato kale and bacon and roasted bell peppers.

I carefully defrosted the burgers in the microwave and then generously seasoned the grass-fed meat cookies with salt and pepper.

Next, I made like Martin Yan and chopped the ingredients for the stir-fried kale and bacon and the toppings for the burger.

While I was washing and stabbing at the vegetables, I threw a bell pepper on the gas range and charred it. 

I chucked the blackened pepper in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap to let it steam.

Meanwhile, I finished stir-frying the kale and bacon. No joke: This dish is done in less than 15 minutes, start to finish.

Afterwards, I rinsed out the pan and melted some lard over medium high heat. Once the pan was hot, I added the lamb burgers and fried them for about 5 minutes on each side. When the internal temperature reached 145 F, I knew they were good to go.

At the same time, I sauteed the onions and mushrooms (seasoned with salt and pepper) in my 8-inch cast iron skillet with some grass-fed butter. Once these burger toppings were done, I peeled, deseeded, and sliced the charred bell pepper and tossed it with some aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Then, I plated everything up and we dug in.

Dinner took just 45 minutes to make, and I went in blind. So when life throws you a curveball and your take-out dreams are dashed, just remember that you can do it, too.

Day 19 of Whole30 Eats

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Yay! It’s my hump day! That means I only have three more night shifts after this one. Wait a sec…that’s still a long string of nights to work. Sigh.

I wasn’t super hungry when I started work so I didn’t actually eat my “lunch” until 2:00 a.m. I nuked myself another box of leftover sous vide pork chops, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” roasted kabocha squash, and sautéed spinach.

I ate a snack at around 4:00 a.m. when I polished off macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, veggies, and Aubergine dip.

My last meal at work was a box of leftover beef stew, baked sweet potato, and nuked green beans at 7:00 a.m.

Sadly, this was my last box of leftover beef stew.

After I returned home we loaded everyone into the car for a trip to our local farmers’ market. I know I just got a CSA box yesterday but I needed some more fruit for the kids and we love getting free samples.

Plus, I bought some salmon and stocked up on a bunch of meat.

And we snagged some more free samples…

Then, it was back home to slumber.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., Fitbomb suprised me by making grass fed lamb burgers and roasted carrot “fries.” Dinner was so damn good.

Then, it was off to work again. Another big sigh.

Quick Lamb Burgers Topped With Fried Egg and Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms and Onions

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There’s nothing I like more than waking up in the evening to the delicious aroma of seared meat. (For all you newbies, I’m not sleeping away the day because I’m lazy or depressed — I’m a shift worker.) Today was my lucky day: not only did my hubby entertain the kids all day, he also made dinner! I’m telling you, when someone else makes dinner, the food takes on a mysterious, MSG-like, flavor-enhancing quality.

What was on the menu? Butter-lettuce wrapped grass fed New Zealand lamb burgers topped with a fried egg, homemade guacamole, sautéed mushrooms and onions — with roasted carrot fries on the side. As an added bonus, dinner was on the table in around 30 minutes, which was just enough time for me to do a quick metcon workout (lots and lots of burpees!) while the kids caught an episode of Scooby Doo on the boob tube.

Here’s what the husband assembled for dinner:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 frozen grass fed lamb patties
  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ pound of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 leaves of butter lettuce (I like using Live Gourmet brand with the roots attached. The heads stay fresher longer and are grown pesticide-free)
  • Handful of shredded carrots (optional garnish)
  • 5 or 6 carrots
  • Coconut oil and/or avocado oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Here’s how he made the burgers:

Earlier in the day, the boys hit Whole Foods and stocked up on Atkins Ranch New Zealand frozen lamb patties (which happened to be on sale — $4.99 for each package of two patties).

When they returned from the store, Mr. Mom put a two-pack in the fridge to defrost and put the rest in the freezer. If you forget to defrost them, you can take the patties straight from the freezer and use the defrost function on the microwave to thaw them. (But be careful defrosting meat in the microwave because if you’re not watching it like a hawk, you’ll end up cooking part of it.)

About an hour before he started making dinner, he took the patties out of the fridge and seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper.

Per Thomas Keller, you should always bring your meat up to cool room temperature before cooking to get the best results. But don’t be dumb and leave it at room temp for half a day or your meat’ll become a veritable petri dish of badness.

At around 5:00 p.m., hubs prepped his veggies and popped a tray of carrot “French fries” tossed with avocado oil, salt, and pepper into the toaster oven (400 F for about 25 minutes).

Then, he made some guacamole by simply smashing up the avocado with some salt and pepper. Personally, I like to add a squirt of lemon or lime juice but I swear I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth!

Next, hubby heated a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and sautéed the onions until they were translucent. He added the sliced shiitake mushrooms along with some salt and pepper and sautéed everything until all the liquid had evaporated.

At the end, he tossed in the minced garlic and stirred the veggies around for about 30 more seconds. If you toss the garlic in earlier, you’ll burn it — and burnt garlic adds a yucky metallic taste to everything.

Once the mushrooms and onions were finished, he rinsed and dried out the skillet, added another dollop of coconut oil and set it over medium-high heat. When the oil was shimmering, he added the lamb patties to the pan.

He seared them for about 4 minutes on each side and checked that the internal temperature was ~ 145 F with our handy-dandy meat thermometer.

Finally, he rinsed the skillet again before frying a couple of eggs in some melted coconut oil.

He plated the burgers over the butter lettuce and topped ‘em with sliced tomato, fried egg, shredded carrots, guacamole, and sautéed mushrooms and onions. By this time, the roasted carrot fries were finished…

…so we sat down and scarfed down dinner.

Bun-less burgers can be pretty messy to eat, so I ate mine with a fork and knife since I’m a cavegirl with good manners. My husband, however, didn’t seem to mind the meat juices running down his hands and forearms as he devoured his burger.

These Paleo lamb burgers were fan-effing-tastic. Cavemen, make this meal for that special someone in your life and I promise that the 30 minutes you spend will be repaid in sex. Er, I mean spades.